Whether or not Vendetta Red’s March 5 show at El Corazon – its first since the band played El Corazon on April 8, 2006 – is a reunion is debateable. So, let's!
The show will feature a performance of the screamo band’s 2005 release Sisters of the Red Death in its entirety. But it won’t feature most of the band members who actually recorded that album, the group’s fourth release in its eight year history, its second for major label Epic Records and the band's last before breaking up.
“It was quite impossible to find most of those people, considering the original lineup was formed in the late ‘90s and we’ve lost contact with about half those people,” says original front man Zach Davidson, who began planning the show in December. “So, unfortunately, no, it won’t be the original members.“
Instead, this version of Vendetta Red will consist of Davidson fronting a band including VR latecomers Burke Thomas (joined in 2001) on drums and Leif Anderson (2005) on guitar, along with Alesandra Rose (The Kindness Kind) on keyboards and Jonah Bergman (Schoolyard Heroes) playing bass.
“We have some really great players on it,” Davidson says, “people who were close to the record and the recording process — it’s pretty awesome.”
Long-time VR bass player Michael Vermillion doesn’t find it so awesome.
“He’s pulling an Axl Rose,” says Vermillion. The former bassist claims that the rest of the band was interested in playing the show, but ultimately refused to commit when, he says, Davidson made it clear that original guitarist Erik Chapman was not welcome.
“Erik was one of the founding members — he wrote half of those songs — and it just didn’t feel right with the replacement,” Vermillion says. “I said I wasn’t interested. And [guitarist] Justin Cronk wasn’t interested — he was only interested if I was interested. I was only interested if Erik would do it. Erik said he would do it, but when it came down to it, Zach didn’t want Erik to be there, so the rest of us just said, ‘Well, fuck that.’ Just the fact that he went ahead and booked it as Vendetta Red is totally fucked up, as far as the rest of us are concerned.”
Davidson, who also plays with Anderson in the band Sirens Sister, does not seem much phased by his former bandmates' dismay.
“The thing with Vendetta Red — it was, kinda like whoever I could get to play with me at the time,” he says. “Throughout the years, some people stuck around for longer than others, and I did it until it stopped being fun. And all I know is that it’s fun right now.”